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Still in a mad scramble to finish your holiday gift buying? The clock is ticking if you want to buy online, but many retailers such as Apple are offering free next-day shipping relief for the procrastinators among us. So just take a deep breath, count to 10 and then hit the ground running -- but not before you’ve had a chance to catch up on all the news for Tuesday, December 20, 2011.
The verdict actually came in on Monday night, with the United States International Trade Commission ruling in Apple’s favor in its case against HTC. According to The Verge, the ITC has “banned the importation and sale of HTC Android devices including the Sprint Evo 4G, Verizon Droid Incredible, AT&T Aria and T-Mobile G2.” The victory is a bit of a shallow one, however, with the ITC ruling that HTC infringed on only one patent issued in 1999 which “covers a device that scans computer text for data, like a phone number, and turns that number into a link that the user can then select to perform an act, like calling the number.” Patent #5,946,647 may ultimately affect other Android devices as well, although HTC issued a statement that somehow twists the whole thing into victory, claiming that “the ‘647 patent is a small UI experience and HTC will completely remove it from all of our phones soon.”
Apple has long allowed iTunes users to buy a song or two from their favorite album and then go back and buy the rest at a discounted price thanks to the “Complete My Album” feature. According to MacRumors, the company may be expanding the service to television shows with a new feature that’s popped up this week called “Complete My Season Pass.” If you have TV shows where you’ve purchased select episodes, you’ll now have the option to buy the rest of the season without having to purchase those episodes again. There doesn’t seem to be a deal here like the one offered by Complete My Album, but it’s still a nice addition for those who missed an episode or two during the season and then decide to go back and buy the rest to get ready for next year’s season.
Engadget is reporting that iPhone and iPod touch users still stuck on iOS 3.1.3 have been unable to download new apps directly from the App Store since an update around December 16. According to reports on Apple’s support boards, these old-school users can still sync apps via iTunes just fine -- “they just can’t buy or install new ones directly from the device.” More of an inconvenience than the end of the world, but it’s a bummer for those still rocking an original iPhone, for example. It smells like a glitch on Apple’s end, but we’re all waiting to hear the word direct from Cupertino before ringing the chimes of doom.
MacRumors is reporting that first-generation iPod nano owners who took Apple up on last month’s replacement program may be getting a special treat in the form of a current sixth-generation iPod nano instead. As you may recall, Apple announced the worldwide replacement program “due to continuing issues with overheating related to defective batteries from one of Apple’s suppliers,” with those signing up early receiving “like-new refurbished first-generation units, almost immediately.” Apparently, Apple has blown through any remaining stock on those units and are now using current iPod nano models as replacements instead, which we’re sure few would complain about. The website is quick to note, however, that affected users haven’t confirmed receipt of such new iPod nanos as yet -- but checking the shipped unit against Apple’s support site pegs them as sixth-generation models, which is probably all the confirmation one might need.
It may only be Tuesday, but it’s down to the wire when it comes to ordering online and receiving your package in time for this weekend’s gift giving. Thankfully, a number of retailers are now offering free next-day shipping for last-minute shoppers, and Apple is among them. According to 9to5Mac, Cupertino is now offering free next-day shipping for non-engraved iPads, iPods and iPhones as well as standard configuration Macs. Other Apple products may or may not apply; Apple recommends checking your cart for expected delivery dates when ordering. Of course, many retailers are also offering online ordering with free in-store pickup, which includes Best Buy and Walmart. The point being, if you haven’t finished yet, time to get a move on, folks...
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